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How Many Movements in a Kata?

I can't remember where I heard this, but it stuck in my mind.

How many movements are there in a kata? Take Naihanchi Shodan. How many movements are there? Take Kusanku. How many?

The anwer is "one." The only movement that counts in any kata is the movement that you are doing. The one that you just did is over. The one that comes next has not yet begun. Only the one you are doing counts. It requires 100% of your attention and effort. Thinking back or ahead only subtracts from the movement at hand.

Doing any movement with 100% of your attention and effort is the practice of kata. Kata is not simply the sequence or pattern. With one perfect movement, the kata is perfect.

Kata is not a question of how many but of how well.


Charles C. Goodin